Sept. 21, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Nuria Zufia scored the game-winning goal in the eighth minute of the first overtime to give Clemson a 1-0 victory over the University of Maryland women's soccer team Thursday night at Ludwig Field.
Zufia's goal came following a shot by Tiger midfielder Julie Bolt that hit the crossbar and deflected back into the Maryland penalty box. The ball was knocked around by several players before Zufia was able to finish it into the lower left corner of the Terrapin net for the win.
Maryland (4-4-1/0-1-0 ACC) had numerous scoring opportunities throughout the match, but could not get a goal on the board. The Terps had three consecutive corner kicks in the first half, but the only true shot coming from those set pieces was a solid header by freshman Molly Dreska that was blocked by a Tiger defender.
The Terps almost picked up a goal in the 41st minute, but junior forward Melissa Hornfeck's shot hit the crossbar.
Hornfeck picked up from there in the second half, hitting another dangerous ball at the Tiger goal, but Clemson goalkeeper Ashley Phillips was there to make one of her three saves on the night.
Junior forward Kelly Rozumalski, the hero of Maryland's 1-0 win at George Mason, nearly came through again for the Terps in the 70th minute. Hornfeck took a pass from Dreska and crossed the ball to Rozumalski in the Clemson box. Rozumalski got off a quality strike, but Phillips made the save.
Senior midfielder Sarah Sample had Maryland's best scoring chance of the night in the 73rd minute of play. Dreska delivered a perfect through-ball across the field from right to left onto the foot of Sample, but Sample's shot sailed to the right of the Tiger goal.
Clemson (5-3-0/1-0-0 ACC) also had their share of opportunities in the second half. Zufia one-timed a cross from Megan Smith in the 67th minute, but All-ACC goalkeeper Nikki Resnick made the save to preserve the 0-0 tie. Resnick, who leads the ACC in total saves and saves per game, finished the match with five stops.
Maryland nearly pulled out a miraculous finish in regulation. Junior defender Ashly Kennedy cleared a loose ball to Dreska in the midfielder, who fed Rozumalski with 19 seconds remaining. Rozumalski's shot had Phillips beat, but the ball kept sailing and barely went over the crossbar.
"I'm proud of our effort tonight," said Maryland head coach Brian Pensky. "I thought that we were as connected as we've been all season. In the first half, we had a few quality chances, especially on set pieces. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the back of the net. In these games the margin of error is very, very slim and often times it comes down to a player making a special play. Unfortunately for us Clemson found a way to make a special play.
"We have a strong group of student-athletes on this team who are going to be excited to train for next weekend's challenges in North Carolina," continued Pensky. "I'm excited to get back together, work hard, and get to next week."
Maryland is off for six days, until it plays at No. 10 Wake Forest on Thursday, September 28. The Terps will remain in North Carolina to take on No. 3 UNC on Sunday, October 1. Both games will be broadcast live on ACC Select, a new broadband network that delivers full-screen video right to their computer. Log on to accselect.com for all of the details.